Review: Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison

May 7, 2010 Books, Reviews 2 ★★★★½

Review: Shadow Bound by Erin KellisonShadow Bound by Erin Kellison
Some people will do anything to avoid it. Even trade their immortal souls for endless existence.

Secretly, inexorably, they are infiltrating our world, sucking the essence out of unsuspecting victims with their hideous parody of a kiss.

Adam Thorne founded the Institute to study and destroy his monster of a brother, but the key to its success is held in the pale, slender hand of a woman on the run. There is something hauntingly different about Talia O’Brien, her unknowing sensuality, her uncanny way of slipping into Shadow.

This is the place between life and what comes after - a dark forest of fantasy, filled with beauty, peril, mystery. And Talia is about to open the door.
Series: Shadow #1
Published by Dorchester Publishing on 2011
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Romance
Pages: 322
Format: ARC
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Buy the Book at: Amazon

I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.


If this book isn’t on your wishlist yet, it needs to be. Go ahead, add it now. I’ll wait.

Shadow Bound is Kellison’s debut novel, and it is one hell of a debut. The story is richly imagined, fast-paced, and engrossing, and the characters are well-developed and utterly believable. It is also a nicely original entry to a genre that’s quickly becoming oversaturated.

Adam Thorne is a driven man. He’s poured most of his inherited family fortune and the last several years into the Segue Institute, a foundation devoted to studying the frightening, vampiric wraiths. Adam’s motivation isn’t all altruism, though; his brother became a wraith, and Adam is determined to find a way to kill him.

Talia O’Brien, a young academic with strange powers, seems to be the answer to Adam’s problems. She can use the darkness to cloak herself so that even wraiths cannot find her. Her mysterious heritage and powers are at the center of the story, and she must accept who she is if she’s to survive.

The story expertly blends the supernatural into a mystery/thriller, and there’s nary a vampire or werewolf in sight. The wraiths are soul-sucking creepy creatures, and a major player in the story is Death himself, called Shadowman here. The Fae are mentioned repeatedly, though they’re not really explained, which leaves a nice set-up for future books in the series.

While the story is gripping, I think my favorite part is the growing romance between Talia and Adam. I love that Kellison doesn’t rush right into it with some kind of tired trope about love at first sight. They’re attracted to each other immediately, but their relationship grows at a believable pace. It’s quick, but at the same time, they’re in a very stressful situation. I think that is so much more convincing than if they immediately fell for each other and didn’t hit any bumps on the road to romance. Talia’s trust issues and reluctance to let herself believe that she is desirable add another nice layer of tension on top of the danger that they’re in.

I feel like I’m not saying enough about this book, but… I can’t say enough about it. I procrastinated on so much schoolwork to read this book, and I stayed up WAY past my bedtime to finish it. As a grad student with a serious aversion to getting less than 8 hours of sleep a night, it’s pretty amazing when I stay up until the wee hours when I have to be at work in the morning. The book comes out in July, so wishlist or preorder it if you want to read an original, excellent urban fantasy.